Power is a difficult weapon to wield, especially when the system is designed to be difficult to game.
Imagine a Senator or a Congressman. In a democracy, their powers are to vote on legislation. Now how does one exploit such a limited power -
- Selling their votes
- Vested interests - being invested where government is going to invest in.
- Using their Public Figure to affect Public Opinion. Propaganda and Framing Effect or Mis-information.
Selling a Vote requires one to provide their word and promise they will follow through with an action for promise with another. A politician on sale will only be as good as his word to be "sold" but in this game of politics, you don't have to follow through.
Powerfully funded Lobbyists are those interested in buying these votes.
Vested Interests are the most classic means of gaming the system, as well as the most profitable. Why sell your vote when you can cash in in a project worth millions or billions. Knowing where the win turns for Gov't bids and projects is very similar to Insider Trading.
Propaganda, another classic use of a Public Office to promote one's self interest.
These are all classic means of using one's public office for self gain, but what is not usually discussed or analyse in Undue Influence.
There are checks and balances, and human instruments in following through these checks and balances. A committee can be misled and mis-informed.
A bidder can have a heads up on what makes for a "winning" bid.
Many Public Officers are in charge of Special projects, projects where they have at most power to Veto or Approve. They can "buy and sell" their influence for favors or cash. High public office have staffs and a whole lot of human effort and lives tangled in them. these can be instruments or tools for furthering the goals and influence of a High Political Officer.
In game systems with Administration or something like it (Bureaucracy, Politics, etc.) to exert Influence over the Bureaucratic Machine does not require any special mastery... of course to pretend it is done in all Fairness and Transparency is a special but not too uncommon use of any system.